Why is this man smiling?
Arizona Sen. John McCain could understandably be scowling: He could face a more difficult political landscape than any presidential candidate in a generation.
Only 39% of Americans have a favorable view of the Republican Party he represents, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. A record 63% say the Iraq war he defends was a mistake. The disapproval rating for President Bush, the incumbent McCain has embraced, has hit 69%, the most negative assessment of any president since Gallup began asking the question 70 years ago.
Yet in what seems to be the most promising election for Democrats since 1976 — when the aftermath of the Watergate scandal opened the door for Democrat Jimmy Carter to win the presidency — the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows the presumptive Republican presidential nominee within striking distance of either Illinois Sen. Barack Obama or New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“Sen. McCain will not be a pushover in Ohio,” cautions Ted Strickland, the Democratic governor of one of the nation’s most important battleground states. “It will be a hotly contested race.”
And why is John McCain running so closely to either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton? Because the Democratic Party is tearing itself apart in a highly contentious primary season … because Hillary Clinton thinks she can overturn the will of the people and secure the nomination by capturing the super-delegates at the convention this summer; and that Obama’s supporters will then turn around and warmly embrace her and carry her to her coronation as the United States first woman President.
Well, Hillary … I’ve got some news for you … it ain’t gonna happen. You are far too divisive a figure in the party, and in the country. You are the anti-Bush, but not in a good way. As much as Democrats hate him, Republicans hate you even more … and while Barack Obama can reach across the figurative aisle and garner support from life-long Republicans looking for change, what you will do is push life-long Democrats (like me) across the aisle to vote for John McCain (or Ralph Nader, or anyone else but you); which will ensure that McCain wins the election.
Then in 2012, after the country has endured another 4-years of misery in government, Barack Obama will run again … and he’ll be able to say “I told you so”, and he’ll run away with the election while you are pilloried as the woman who cost the Democrats the election in 2008, just as Ralph Nader was in 2000.
Keep it up, Hillary … I can guarantee that you will not get my vote.